HP’s Global Volunteer Challenge—Engaging in Our Communities
by Tarsila Arnone, Program Manager, HP Community Engagement
It doesn’t matter whether they’re building an urban garden in Panama; planting trees in California; or coaching students in India, there’s one comment I can guarantee I will get from employees who took part in HP’s Global Volunteer Challenge—“I feel like I got as much or more out of this experience, than those I helped.” It’s a universal feeling that crosses all countries and cultures.
In May, we kicked off our 2015 challenge. The goal—to encourage more than 275,000 HP employees across 120+ countries to volunteer in their communities. HP provides every employee with the opportunity to use four hours of paid time each month to volunteer. How those hours are used provides a fascinating insight into our employees’ passions.
In India, 120 employees from HP’s Chennai site gave a government school in the rural village of Uthirameru, a much-needed facelift. Using their personal time, the employees travelled 90 km to the village and stayed for a full four days, making a wide range of improvements that completely transformed the school. The volunteers painted the entire school building; set up a water purifier to provide clean, safe drinking water for the 100 students; planted trees, and installed new washrooms.
In Panama, employees joined students at an elementary school in a disadvantaged area. Together they built an urban garden—planting fruit trees, digging garden beds, and assembling seed pods from recycled materials. The students not only learned valuable harvesting skills but will benefit from the bounty produced by the garden in the weeks to come.
In Roseville, California, employees volunteered at Deer Creek Farm, a property owned by Compassion Planet that teaches foster youth employment skills. Employees worked alongside the youth to build fencing and sprinkler systems; clear the property of weeds, trim trees; spruce-up the onsite retail shop, and refurbish furniture. As one volunteer said, “There wasn’t one piece of the property we didn’t help restore in some way!”
Hundreds of employees from HP Malaysia worked with nonprofit Stop Hunger Now to package almost 200,000 nutritious meals for vulnerable children and families.
May also saw the launch of the HP Advising program, where HP employees are matched with start-up small businesses and nonprofits, helping them to work through business challenges
and provide guidance and support. For entrepreneurs, it’s a chance to gain access to skilled professionals to achieve their goals. For HP employees it’s a unique opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life while expanding their horizons. More than 600 employees have already signed-up.
Our support of community engagement and our commitment to driving human, economic and environmental progress is a year-round priority. It’s part of HP Living Progress—creating a better future for everyone through our actions and innovations.